Becoming a Private Pilot: An Attainable Dream

The dream of flight has always captivated mankind. For centuries, we have invented and imagined devices to explore the world from the sky. It was not until 1903 that humans achieved “motorized” flight for the first time, thanks to the Wright brothers’ invention. Since that milestone, we have continuously improved the field of aeronautics. Today, we are free to fly professionally (CPL/A or CPL/H), but also to fly for pleasure! Becoming a private helicopter pilot is an exhilarating way to fulfill this dream, offering a unique freedom and a fresh perspective on the world.

Why choose to become a private helicopter pilot, and what are the advantages? That's the theme of our article today.

Why choose to become a private helicopter pilot

Every private pilot we train and work alongside has their own unique reason for taking the leap. Whether it’s fulfilling a childhood dream, an introduction to flying, or an unforgettable piloting experience… However, two factors consistently and complementarily emerge: passion and freedom.

Passion: The passion for flight, that incomparable feeling of detaching from the ground and soaring through the skies. To be the master of discovering the surrounding landscapes from an incredible, unique viewpoint, to feel that wonder at will, and to share it with others. The passion for helicopters and the emotion felt during a helicopter flight is the primary reason that drives one to become a private helicopter pilot.

Freedom: The freedom to chart your own course, to explore places inaccessible by other means, and to enjoy unparalleled flexibility in your travels. Of course, you’ll quickly learn that every journey made by helicopter requires some essential rules of preparation. This unique mode of transportation, providing the sensation of being above the world, like a bird, is presumably the second reason that drives enthusiasts to embark on this journey.

becoming a private pilote

The benefits and opportunities of being a private pilot.

You’ll enjoy exciting travel and adventure opportunities, with the added pleasure of being able to bring friends and family along to share these magical moments in a private circle. You’ll constantly learn and develop new skills, enjoying the flexibility and autonomy that come with your status.

You can fly whenever you wish during the day (or at night if you decide to obtain the associated qualification), and wherever you wish within the European territory, provided your license is EASA compliant (which should be the case if you undergo training in Europe).

You can engage in various activities, such as transporting people (without remuneration), conducting aerial photography, flying over dream events (F1 races, Olympic Games, parades, various celebrations, etc.). The possibilities are vast and depend on your interests and qualifications.

How to become a private helicopter pilot

The journey to becoming a private helicopter pilot begins with rigorous training known as PPL(H). The prerequisites are:

– Being over 17 years old
– Undergoing a medical examination granting a valid Class 2 certificate (by a civil aviation approved doctor).
– Acquiring the aeronautical English linguistic proficiency qualification, the FCL.055 (all information on this subject can be found on our dedicated page). To obtain your license, you must at least pass Level IV of the exam.
– Completing an initial pilot training that includes a minimum of 45 hours of flight time.

The theoretical training takes place at the training center (at CEFA, in our premises), and the practical training is conducted in parallel with our experienced flight instructor. For holders of an airplane pilot license (PPLA), the required number of flight hours may be reduced.

Becoming a private helicopter pilot

The Private Helicopter Pilot License (PPLH)

This is addressed to : All enthusiasts wishing to become helicopter pilots for pleasure. There is no age limit to take the test, provided that you meet the medical, technical, and linguistic conditions previously explained. The minimum age to take it is 17 years old.

The objective of the training :  To ensure that the pilots’ knowledge and skills are sufficient to navigate safely in the French skies. The pilot must be able to control a helicopter without endangering themselves or others.

Some training modules covered during the PPLH training


Becoming a helicopter pilot is a dream shared by many enthusiasts in the aviation sector. The training that enables you to achieve your ambition will require motivation and determination to meet the necessary requirements to become an operational helicopter pilot, safely. If you would like more information about the PPL(H), please visit our dedicated page. Otherwise, the CEFA team is here to answer all your questions! Contact us.

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